STS-128 (ISS assembly flight 17A) was a NASA Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) that launched on 28 August 2009. Space Shuttle Discovery carried the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo as its primary payload. Leonardo contained a collection of experiments for studying the physics and chemistry of microgravity. Three spacewalks were carried out during the mission, which removed and replaced a materials processing experiment outside ESA's Columbus module, and returned an empty ammonia tank assembly.
The International Space Station programme is tied together by a complex set of legal, political and financial agreements between the sixteen nations involved in the project, governing ownership of the various components, rights to crewing and utilization, and responsibilities for crew rotation and resupply of the International Space Station. It was conceived in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, during the Space Station Freedom project as it was originally called.